How to Troubleshoot an Offline Printer

Your printer has received several files but has not printed any of them. The printer’s status is displayed as “Offline” in the Windows Settings menu. What does this indicate, and how can you resolve a PC printer locked in the offline state?

Any reliable modern printer can establish an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection with your computer. What should you do if you see the dreaded “printer down” status error? How do you reactivate your printer? Or maybe it just shows the standard Generic Code 10 error?

How to Troubleshoot an offline Printer

1. Verify the Printer and Computer Connection

Check that the printer is connected to the power outlet properly and turned on before making any changes to the PC’s settings. Ensure your PC and printer are on the same network when using wireless printers.

Next, make sure your network is operational. It’s not the printer’s fault if you are having problems connecting to the internet. In that scenario, our advice on resolving Wi-Fi issues in Windows 10 will come in handy.

2. Turn off Windows’ offline printing mode

Moving forward, you must also ensure that the printer is not set to “Use Printer Offline.

  • Select the faulty printer under “Printers & scanners” by going to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners.

printer offline

  • Select Open queue.
  • Ensure “Use Printer Offline” is ticked when you choose Printer from the menu bar. To put the printer back online, choose Use Printer Offline if the option has a checkmark next to it.

offline printer

3. Launch the printer troubleshooter

Let the Printer Troubleshooter assist you if you still can’t get your printer online. It is an integrated utility that detects and resolves printing-related issues on Windows-based devices.

printer troubleshooter

There are several troubleshooters in Windows 10 that are designed to find and fix any problems. You can try running a printer troubleshooter in the hopes that it will resolve the offline printer problem.

To access Settings, press Windows key + I, then select Devices > Printers & Scanners. Click Run the troubleshooter under Related settings on the right-hand menu.

4. Launch the Print Spooler Service again.

A service that manages communication with the printer is called the print spooler. You can bring your printer back online by restarting this service.

print-spooler-service

Search for Services in the Start menu, then launch the appropriate app. When you find Print Spooler in the Name column, continue to scroll down. Right-click it when you locate it and select Restart.

5. Restart the Printer and Computer

Another potential cause of the issue is a temporary computer system error. Shut down your computer, then turn it back on after disconnecting or unplugging the printer. Turn off the printer, wait a few seconds, then turn it back on if nothing else has worked. Alternately, unhook the printer’s power cord, wait a bit, and then re-plug it.

6. Clear the Print Queue

The offline printer error is just one of several problems that a backed-up print queue can bring.

Press Windows key + I to access Settings, select Devices > Printers & scanners, choose your Printer and click Open queue to empty the print queue.

Go to Printer> Cancel All Documents on the top toolbar.

printer cancel

7. Update the Printers Drivers

It is unnecessary to update your drivers if your machine is working correctly. The offline printer is one such instance when updating the drivers may be helpful. Nevertheless, you do occasionally need to identify and install outdated drivers.

printer update driver

Press Windows key + X and choose Device Manager to do this. Double-click the Printers category in the new window. Click Update Driver from the context menu of your printer. Double-check the printer manufacturer’s website if no updates are discovered (be it HP, Canon, Brother, or whoever).

8. Remove and Reinstall the Printer

The printer can be removed from your computer if all else fails. To access Settings, press Windows key + I. Navigate to Devices > Scanners & Printers.

remove printer

Click Remove device after selecting your printer, then select Yes. Click Add a printer or scanner after that. Return the printer’s connection to your computer by following the wizard’s instructions.

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